Does Car Insurance Cover Natural Disasters?

Yes, but not all car insurance policies cover natural disasters. Only comprehensive car insurance provides coverage against losses and damages caused by almost all natural disasters. This means if you have comprehensive insurance you won’t need to have other individual plans.

However, depending on your state and insurance provider, there may be special requirements or limitations to get coverage for natural disasters.

Does Insurance Cover Natural Disasters?

Natural disasters and “Acts of God” can occur anytime and cause immense damage to your car when you least expect it. So, what happens when a natural disaster damages your car or causes total loss?

Your first rational thought is to ask: “Does my car insurance cover natural disasters?”

Whether or not your car insurance policy covers natural disaster damage depends on different factors:

  1. The type of natural disaster you’ve encountered.
  2. The type of insurance policy you carry.
  3. Your level or limit of car insurance coverage.
  4. The type of damage that occurred.
  5. Your car insurance provider.

What Type of Car Insurance Covers Natural Disasters?

Car insurance covers natural disasters. But not all insurance policies do so.

So, which type of car insurance covers natural disasters?

Answer: Comprehensive insurance policy.

Comprehensive insurance provides coverage against losses and damages that occur due to almost all natural disasters. But it doesn’t necessarily cover every scenario.

So, as long as you have comprehensive car insurance coverage before the natural disaster, you are most likely covered.

How Comprehensive Car Insurance Covers Natural Disasters

Comprehensive insurance provides coverage for among many things natural disasters and “Acts of God.” These are events classified as out of control of the driver’s capabilities. But you must be carrying them before the damage occurs.

Some of the common natural disasters that comprehensive insurance provides coverage for are:

  • Floods
  • Storms
  • Earthquakes
  • Hail
  • Wildfires

Note: The secret of comprehensive coverage for natural disasters is to have the policy before the disaster occurs.

Even if your insurance policy covers natural disasters, some disasters may involve special conditions. You should evaluate your coverage to make sure you understand all the considerations, especially if you live in an area prone to natural disasters like floods, wildfires, or quakes.

In addition, many insurance companies often place a temporary hold on adding any coverage when there’s an imminent natural disaster. Once such a restriction is in place, it won’t be possible to amend your policy until after the risk.

Other limitations that your insurance company may also have include:

  • Requirement to file your natural disaster insurance claim within a certain time.
  • Condition that the damage or loss occurs during a specific time.
  • Expect delayed payments since the disaster affects many people who are likely also to file their claims simultaneously.

Let’s explore how car insurance coverage for natural disasters protects you from threats and some significant concepts to keep in mind.

Does Car Insurance Cover Flood Damage?

Comprehensive insurance provides coverage from flood damage as long as you have the policy before the loss or damage.

But there are limitations in flood damage coverage:

  1. Timing. Insurance providers may set binding restrictions on any existing or new policy once there’s been an indication of a flood threat. You cannot add comprehensive coverage to your policy after a flood threat disaster has been scheduled to hit your area.
  2. Level of floodwater. If flood water doesn’t rise above the floor of your car, you may get lucky and avoid major damages. If the damages don’t surpass your deductible, car insurance may not cover any damage.
  3. Source of water. Comprehensive insurance doesn’t cover water damage from maintenance issues, like leaks or open windows during a rainstorm.

If your car is submerged in the floodwater, you risk damage to your electrical systems, braking, or engine above the tires. In this case, your comprehensive insurance can help cover the losses and damages.

But if the car experiences total loss, you may only get reimbursement under the terms of your policy, such as full replacement or actual cash value.

Does Car Insurance Cover Earthquake Damage

In the event of an earthquake, you will need a separate policy to provide coverage for your dwelling, but your car will benefit from your comprehensive car insurance policy. The important thing is to ensure that you have this coverage before the earthquake damage, or you risk having your claim denied.

Acts Of God and Full Coverage Insurance

When it comes to insurance, “Acts of God” are damages caused by circumstances out of control of the driver. They include natural disasters and other disasters like:

  • Riots and civil unrest
  • Sinkholes
  • Theft and Vandalism
  • Mud and Landslides
  • Volcanoes

Comprehensive coverage covers anything left uncovered by liability and collision insurance, including these acts of God under full coverage.
However, your insurance provider will specify whether your current comprehensive insurance provides coverage for these items or if you may need additional add-ons to get coverage.

Insurance Add-on Covers To Consider During Natural Disasters

Comprehensive insurance may cover natural disasters, but it may not give you the kind of full protection to restore your vehicle to its form. Why?

Because natural disasters can damage your vehicle significantly.

So, even if you already carry a comprehensive car insurance policy, you can also consider purchasing some add-on covers to cushion your car during natural disasters.

Some add-on covers that you can consider are:

  1. Engine Protector. This Engine add-on coverage provides compensation for any expenses incurred while fixing engine damage by water ingression leading to loss or damage to different engine parts and accessories.
  2. Consumables Cover. A car has different consumable items such as AC gas bolts and nuts, washers, screws, grease, lubricants, clips, engine oil, fuel filter oil filter, and brake oil. Talk to your insurance provider and understand what consumable add-ons you may have on your coverage.
  3. Zero Depreciation Cover. If you place a total loss claim, your insurance provider will deduct the car’s depreciation before giving you the claim amount. With a zero-depreciation coverage, your car is protected from depreciation, and you won’t have to bear losses that occur due to depreciation.

Natural Disaster Insurance Claim Process

First, you need to understand that the claim for natural disasters may differ from other car insurance claims, and it may take longer.

While different companies may have their ways of filing natural disaster claims, the following steps provide general information of the process:

  1. Make sure you’re safe
  2. Take pictures of the damaged car. Make a video if possible.
  3. Contact your insurer as soon as possible to initiate the claim process.
  4. Depending on the insurance provider’s process, you may fill the claim form manually or submit the required details via email.
  5. The insurance company will allocate an insurance surveyor or adjuster to inspect the damages caused by the disaster.
  6. After the surveyor’s verification, the insurer may instruct you to take the car to the insurer-approved garage.
  7. The insurer will settle your claim based on your agreed process: Reimbursement or Cashless.

Final Word

Natural disasters can cause significant vehicle damage. If you have comprehensive insurance coverage, your insurance provider will cover the damages based on the policy’s specifications. Is there any other specific information you’re trying to find regarding car insurance and natural disasters?